Jason Day - Slaying Demons to Win Wells Fargo Championship 2018!
Australia's Jason Day has taken out the Championship at Quail Hollow for 2018. Day won by two strokes with a tournament total of 12-under par 272 over Nick Watney and Aaron Wise who are tied second with 10-under 274. Bryson DeChambeau is fourth on 8-under, then Paul Casey, Phil Mickelson and Peter Uihlein on 7-under.
Early in the tournament Day said that he wanted to win again, to reclaim his top spot in golf. His words rang out like a challenge, as he powered forward and brought a somewhat sleepy event to life during the second round. While some of the other well known players were in something of a post-Masters funk, Day just got on with the game and charged ahead.
After Augusta, Tiger Woods tossed his clubs in the closet and did not touch them for ten days. Rory McIlroy spent a week "decompressing".
“Probably took me a week to get over it," McIlroy said of the Masters. "I went back home and decompressed, binge-watched a couple of shows, read a couple of books, drank a few bottles of wine. I was trying to immerse myself in anything but golf at that moment."
Others attended to family matters and various aspects of their lives. But Day, showing true Aussie spirit, was going to "keep the show on the road" (to quote Williamson) and to keep moving on with his game, and he did.
Quail Hollow was no easy route for Day. For him, more than for most other players, the course represented a significant challenge. Here at the PGA Championship less than a year ago Day seemed to have an edge. He was on the way, potentially, to making it through to win his second major. Then at the last hole on the third round he struck a quadruple bogey, demolishing that hope.
Now in the final round of the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship, memories of that previous time were brought sharply into focus for Day when he struck bogeys on the par-3 13th and again on the par-4 14th holes. He lost his three shot lead over Wise, who had birdied the 14th.
“I was sitting there thinking, it’s happening again,” Day said. “I’m at the PGA last year. I don’t get it over the line and now I’m sitting there thinking Aaron's going to come back and win the tournament. I’ll walk off failing.
“I was kind of battling demons there inside my head, because the subconscious takes over when you’re not hitting it that great and you don’t know where the ball’s going...
“When you're not hitting it good, it just feels like the life is getting sucked out of you. You somehow have to just get rid of those thoughts and just push forward.”
Day did exactly that. A nine foot putt for par on the 15th showed his steadying hand. At the 16th his ten foot putt for birdie edged him back into the lead. Then he faced the 230 yard par-3 17th, the toughest hole at Quail Hollow and, as part of the "Green Mile", one of the most challenging on the PGA Tour. There's water alongside the green and water in front of it. The green looked "real tiny" to Day as he gazed down at it.
Day smashed a seven-iron off the tee, aiming for the slope behind the green.
“When I hit it, it was on a cracking line, it was beautiful,” he said. “And then it just had this massive bounce, hit on the downslope and fortunately hit the pin, which was nice, and went to about two or three feet. Things like that are what you need to win golf tournaments.”
A par on the 18th secured his victory. Day was also the only player to stay in the 60s for all four rounds.